From The Broadway Blog’s editor Matthew Wexler—April showers bring a super storm of Broadway heavyweights hitting the boards this month. From a hilarious musical romp to the latest play from heart-tugger Harvey Fierstein, the season is in full swing as Tony-eligible productions must open before the April 24 cut-off date. Head below 14th Street for an immersive theatrical experience following the trials and tribulations of Imelda Marcos. Shoes not included.
Bullets Over Broadway
Five time Tony Award® winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman brings this new musical to the stage with a team of Broadway veterans. Adapted by Woddy Allen from the award-winning film, Bullets Over Broadway tells the story of an aspiring young playwright (Zach Braff) newly arrived on Broadway in 1920’s New York who is forced to cast a mobster’s talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced.
Let’s hope that Stroman has better luck with this material than her first screen-to-stage adaptation of the season, Big Fish, which closed after a disappointing 98 performances. Our bets are on Bullets with a star turn from Marin Mazzie in the role so deliciously portrayed on screen by Dianne Wiest…. “Don’t speak.”
Bullets Over Broadway
St. James Theatre
246 West 44th Street
Opening night: April 10
Guess who’s back in the house? Four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots, Newsies, La Cage aux Folles) comes Casa Valentina, his first play in almost 30 years and his first-ever collaboration with Manhattan Theatre Club. Two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello (Take Me Out, Wicked) directs this world premiere based on actual events.
Back in 1962, most men went to the Catskill Mountains to escape the summer heat, but others took the two-hour drive to escape something else entirely: being men. Nestled in the land of dirty dancing and borscht belt comedy sat an inconspicuous bungalow colony that catered to a very special clientele: heterosexual men whose favorite pastime was dressing and acting as women. It was paradise for these men—white-collar professionals with families—to spend their weekends discreetly and safely inhabiting their chosen female alter egos. But when faced with the opportunity to become an official organization, these “self-made women” had to decide whether public recognition would help them gain a place in open society or spell their own personal disaster.
Infused with Fierstein’s trademark wit, this new play offers a glimpse into the lives of a group of unforgettable characters as they search for acceptance and happiness in their very own Garden of Eden.
Manhattan Theatre Club
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
261 West 47th Street
Opening night: April 24
Hey, that’s only two! Take the jump for our last pick of the month.
Here Lies Love
Nobody loves shoes more than Imelda Marcos, but that’s just the sale rack in this fashion-forward snapshot of one of the most unusual characters in political history.
Within a pulsating dance club atmosphere, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim deconstruct the astonishing journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos retracing her meteoric rise to power and subsequent descent into infamy and disgrace at the end of the People Power Revolution. Here Lies Love is neither a period piece nor a biography, neither a play nor a traditional musical but an immersive theatrical event combining songs influenced by four decades of dance music, adrenaline-fueled choreography, and a remarkable 360-degree scenic and video environment to go beyond Imelda’s near-mythic obsession with shoes and explore the tragic consequences of the abuse of power.
This 90-minute theatrical experience is set within a dance club atmosphere where the audiences stands and moves with the actors. Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended… you’ll be dancing by the end of the evening. Nominated for a record-breaking 11 Lucille Lortel nominations, this is the hot ticket of the season south of the Great White Way.
Here Lies Love
The Public Theater
425 Lafayette Street
Previews begin April 14